These young men in their thirties borrowed 3.7 million euros and are now building a huge warehouse Economy

In Hapajärvi in ​​Northern Ostrobothnia, the largest barn of Finnish scale is being built: it will cost 3.7 million euros and will increase the number of milking cows to 340.

The agricultural company is run by an entrepreneur in his thirties, taking loans worth lakhs. Their heads don’t freeze.

– We firmly believe in godlessness in this business, he says Sana Danskanen-Niemi.

He turns 30 this year. Her husband Larry Min 30 years old and Larry’s brother Jacko Niemi 27 years old. Nurmela Farm is their company.

The story tells the story of how big risks agricultural entrepreneurs have to take and what it feels like to run a million-dollar farm for a thirty-year-old.

Agricultural entrepreneur Larry Niemi presents the location of the future barn.

“We are not machines”

Laurie and Jacko are the fourth generation to run the farm. The generational change happened five years ago.

At that time there were two dairy sheds and 135 cows. In 2020, the brothers bought a neighboring farm, almost doubling their production. Chana joined officially and on a small scale a year ago.

The calves live in the barn next to Jacko’s house. The dairy cows are housed in two sheds located two km apart. Cultivation is done on 460 hectares of land. There are four employees, and the number increases to six during the growing season.

When production facilities are scattered, some procedures must be handled at least twice daily. That will change when the new repository is completed in the fall of 2025.

Construction of new sheds has declined in recent years

The restructuring of agriculture in Finland has been going on for a long time. This means that small farms will close and those that remain will increase in size.

Farms can apply for investment support to make large construction projects a success. Support may be provided in the form of grants, loan interest subsidies and loan guarantees. Part of the subsidy is paid by the EU and part by the Finnish government.

In 2019, dairy farms built a lot of new barns, and a total of about 56 million euros helped with the construction. After the peak year, construction has slowed, with only 16.7 million euros in investment grants for dairy farms last year to build sheds.

The reversal is attributed to rising construction costs and interest rates. The grant is now used for small renovations instead of large sheds.

The number of dairy farms is expected to continue to decline in the coming years. Domestic milk production has also declined by a few percent annually.

– In the coming years, investments will have to increase to maintain even current production levels, says the Food Agency’s specialist Alice Kusela.

If the farm is without credit, it is underdeveloped

The farm was never finished. The Nymen trio that runs Nurmi Space invest at least tens, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of euros every year. The money goes to machinery, equipment, fields and animals.

The new shed will be 138 meters long and 40 meters wide.

The average Finnish herd has around 60 dairy cows. About 50 hectares of agricultural land is in use. About 30 farms have more than 300 milkers.

Lauri Niemi estimates that the interest and financing costs of the new warehouse alone will initially be hundreds of thousands of euros per year.

A milking robot costs, for example, 150,000 euros. Five of them are needed for the new repository. Neemet recently acquired a drivable wagon for making compound feed. It costs 200,000 euros.

ProAgria Oulu Service Manager Ollie Nurkkala When millions are invested in a location, financiers, for example, need a new property as collateral. According to Noorkkala, being able to realistically demonstrate why the farm as a whole is profitable and how the company can take care of its debt load is critical.

Big money is banked for their own future.

– We are still young. Larry Niemi says you should be in bread for at least 30-40 years.

Larry Niemi, Sana Danskanen-Niemi and Jaco Niemi stand on the site of the new barn. Groundwork started in May. Photo: Rami Moilanen / Yell

All three can be debt free in ten years if they continue with current assets. However, entrepreneurs trained in this sector are motivated and do not want to get stuck in old structures.

Profitability of investments is constantly evaluated. New investments come in and even new investments have to be adjusted at some point. Industry standards and support policies also vary over the years.

– If the farm is debt-free, you know growth is over, says Larry Niemi.

It is confirmed that the Ely Center will then provide €1.2 million in investment support. Otherwise, the investment is financed through bank loans and income financing. Dairies have no financial stake. Purchases milk from a particular dairy farm on the basis of a currently valid production contract.

– If everything goes to waste, we will not have enough life to pay the debt. That’s why collateral assets exist, says Larry.

Sana Danskanen-Niemi presents drawings of the future barn at her home in Kobospera, Hapajärvi, on May 8, 2024.

Sana Tanskanen-Niemi manages the farm’s office affairs. Designing a new repository is a lengthy process. Photo: Rami Moilanen / Yell

Queens and great athletes

Hapajärvi’s Kobospera, located in northern Ostrobothnia, has about a hundred people. It is owned by young agricultural entrepreneurs: the village has four farms, and the oldest owner is 36 years old.

There are also shared machines: the stone collection machine is shared by three farms.

Ultimately, all work is aimed at the well-being of the animals and thus the company’s financial success.

Income is derived from milk production. Cows work. the queen They are like elite athletes, so they are carefully fed.

Sana Danskanen-Niemi

Forage mixes are analyzed monthly and recipes are adjusted to ensure cows are getting the right nutrients they need throughout the year.

Almost all of Nieme’s cows are Holstein cattle, the world’s most used dairy breed. Chana describes them as individuals, personalities. Yes: Everyone has names, even though everyday life runs on ear numbers.

This investment will improve the well-being of both animals and people, says Sana Danskanen-Niemi.

We want to reduce our own workload

Agricultural entrepreneurship is demanding work. Nights are for sleeping, though sometimes all three make for one long day.

– An agricultural entrepreneur is officially entitled to 26 days off per year. Then you can get an interpolation instead. No other vacancies. By hiring employees and increasing the size of the farm, we were able to distribute the workload among the farm team, which sometimes makes it possible for entrepreneurs to take a day off each week, says Larry Niemi.

Sana Danskanen-Niemi, for example, handles financial management, transition planning and other documents for the Agricultural Corporation. However, he prefers to work outside the farm.

– We try to avoid the trap door effect. Let’s make sure our own field of vision doesn’t become too narrow. That’s why I also work outside the farm, says Chana, who works as an expert in agricultural finance.

A calf from the Nurmela Dairy in Hapajarvi, Northern Ostrobothnia.  Photo taken on 8 May 2024.

At Nurmela’s farm, we only use Holstein cattle. Using only one species, for example, makes meal planning easier. Photo: Rami Moilanen / Yell

Chana and Larry have a new home of their own, and their 3-year-old daughter is growing up there. The couple’s shared story began in their student days.

– We used to date a lot at the tractor booth when I met the conductor there while studying Acrology, says Sana.

Both livelihood and family life are flourishing on Nurmela’s farm.

Have a tip for us? You can approach childbirth with confidence

If you prefer, you can also contact us at [email protected]. We read all communications, but we cannot guarantee an individual response to everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *